Needing a date night with hubby but neither of you seem to have the time, money or baby sitting resources to make a whole night out of it? When my husband and I first moved in together we had only been engaged for about a month and a half. We were both working full time jobs, taking on our fair share of financial responsibility, and trying to start a healthy savings account for our wedding. Needless to say, the hours wore on both of us. I would come home from 8 hours on my feet feeling completely exhausted with hardly the energy to wash the dishes and cook dinner. He worked lots of odd hours that were never set or regular, he’d be working night shift one week, then out of town for three days the next week, then no work at all for a few days, it was really exhausting for him and eventually our relationship began to feel the effects of it. We hadn’t been on any real date in ages and it started to feel more like living with a roommate than with my own fiancé. So, I had an idea; once a week we will try to do something, anything, that gets us to slow down and take some time with one another. We don’t have to go out on any expensive dates, we don’t have to go anywhere at all, we can sit at home in the comfort of our pj’s and spend time together one on one.
The first night that I implemented this, was really a spur of the moment idea. I was out grocery shopping one evening after work when I came across a little nook in the baking aisle with all the needed ingredients for make it yourself pizzas. So I bought the needed items for pepperoni pizzas and a bottle of sparkling grape juice (I was nineteen at the time so no wine for me yet) and went home to set up my sweet surprise for my sweet fella! When he got home he was excited to see what I had done, we put our pizzas together and danced in the kitchen in our pj’s while they baked in the oven, then we watched one of our favorite tv series while we ate our own personal pizzas and drank our sparkling juice. It really turned out to be one of the best dates we’ve had so far, and it didn’t cost much. After that night, we really tried to stay in the habit of doing something for each other at least once a week that involves the two of us spending quality time with one another.
Here is a list of a few things that we have done and some that other couples have suggested as well. It doesn’t have to be big or intricate or expensive, just a simple gesture to show you still care to spend time with your partner and keep your relationship from feeling so much like work.
- Have a Disney movie marathon. We both know you still love The Little Mermaid and can even sing along to Mulan. And don’t worry, Dumbo makes me sad too. And Netflix has most of them just a click away.
- Do a craft together. I know a lot of women are very crafty especially those of us with kids. So maybe come out of your craft room for once or invite him in, include him in something you’re working on, maybe just a small project in case he’s not quite as crafty as you. Show him how to press vinyl onto a surface or let him create a custom decal for his car or coffee cup or whatever else he’s interested in. Take some time to introduce him to the other love of your life, after all, if you’re anything like my mother and me, you could spend all day in your craft room with minimal interaction with the outside world and feel no remorse at all.
- Create a family original meal. I know that there are a lot of times when you check the fridge or pantry for dinspiration (dinner inspiration) and you have that, “I really thought I had more than this in here” moment. Well instead of ordering pizza or having cereal for dinner, invent a dish together. You have some random fettuccine noodles, some ground Italian sausage and some marinara sauce, well it may not be conventional, but I see an all new pasta bake waiting to be born!
- Family game night. Even if it’s just a game of Uno, you can still have fun with your honey and include the kids if they’re old enough! Even if it’s just you and the hubz, a deck of cards and some trail mix, I see an opportunity for some five card no peek. I’ll see your four peanuts and raise you two M&M’s.
- Movie comp. And by comp, I mean compromise. You want to watch Hope Floats, he wants to watch some football documentary and neither of you can come to agreeance on what else to watch. Go to Netflix’s genre section and choose a genre that is very broad and one that neither of you would typically spring for, flip through the titles and find one that stands out to both of you. You’re trying new things and even if you both hate the movie, it was a good experience in not always getting your way but listening to what your partner wants and coming to work together to find what you both agree on.
- Picture album excavating. Surely there are pictures of the two of you from the beginning of your relationship that everyone else has forgotten about. Find that old album on Facebook or an actual, real life photo album with pages and flip through some of the pictures together. Laugh at how crazy you used to do your hair and why did you think those giant earrings were cute. Laugh about that one time he tried to grow his facial hair only to be dissatisfied and shave it all off again. Find pictures from your childhood, ones that your mom drags out on the holidays. Compare your baby pictures to those of your kids, or if you don’t have kids yet, imagine how your kids may get your nose or his eyes and your hair color. It can be a sweet way to look back at how far you’ve come and where you want to go next.
- Bath time. We’ve all seen those neat bath bombs that fizz up in the tub with all the pretty colors and smells. Well order one. When it comes in get to work on setting up your atmosphere. You may need a preliminary shower to shave your legs and wash the baby food from your hair. When you’re ready, light some candles, put on some music, run your bath and go get the hubby. The kids are asleep or at grandma’s, and you finally have a moment to enjoy yourself. Bring him in and drop your bath bomb in the tub. If he’s anything like my husband, he’ll be more mesmerized by the fizzing little ball of suds than anything else. Lay opposite each other, get a foot rub and talk about your day, or sit with your back to him, get a shoulder massage and talk about the next family activity you would like to plan. However you choose to spend your bath time, do it. It’s so nice to just have a soak and enjoy the nice smells from your bath bomb and some nice time with your honey.
- Take a hike. Ok, not literally a hike, but just a walk would be nice. Get out in the fresh air and get some vitamin D. Stroll through your neighborhood or a local park. The kids can bring their bikes, skateboards, or scooters, little ones can have a ride in the stroller or wagon. Mom and dad can have some nice conversation while maybe refereeing a small stick sword fight. After all, that vile Captain Hook is always lurking around the corner and only Peter Pan can save the family. It’s good for you, good for the kids and nobody’s brains are being mushed by tv or video games.
Now that you have some ideas from me and a few other couples, and I’m sure you even have some ideas of your own now, go ahead and start making plans! Make it a surprise even, take turns alternating weeks on who gets to plan the date. Make it your own and make it special. This is about you and your husband coming together to share the love your marriage was built on. Make time for each other and be sure to appreciate the thought that goes into everything they do for you, big or small.